Former Firefighter with Gun Who Solicited Minor Going to Prison

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Lester Photo

RAY C. LESTER

Louisa, VA – Today, Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire announced that Ray C. Lester, 29, was sentenced to twenty years in prison with ten years suspended for two counts of solicitation of a minor.
 
Lester was initially arrested on January 5, 2015 as part of a winter break Craigslist sting conducted by the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, Albemarle Police Department and the SOVA Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.   He was convicted of two counts of soliciting a minor in Louisa Circuit Court on June 24, 2015.
 
During the course of the email conversation, Lester solicited sex acts from the 14 year old girl on multiple occasions.  They eventually agreed to meet near her home in Louisa County.   Lester attempted to scout out the agreed location from a nearby vantage point but all his efforts got him was an introduction to the members of the Task Force.  They arrested Lester and searched his vehicle.  During the search of the vehicle, the officers found a .40 semi-automatic pistol with 13 rounds in the driver’s side door and a recently cut six foot rope on the center console.  At sentencing, Lester attempted to argue that the gun was for protection and that he wasn’t aware of the rope.  The evidence at sentencing showed that the rope was clearly visible on top of the center console and could have been used to tie up the hands of the child.
 
            Speaking on the sentence McGuire said “Mr. Lester’s behavior highlights the danger that children face in cyberspace today.  Not only are predators trying to exploit our children, this one showed up with a gun and rope.  We are lucky that the child happened to be an undercover ICAC officer. ”
 
Adam Ward, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, who prosecuted this case with McGuire, said “Justice was served today.  This sentence sends the message that those who prey on children will experience a significant period of incarceration.  We are grateful to the dedicated law enforcement officers of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, Albemarle Police Department and SOVA ICAC Task Force for bringing Mr. Lester to justice.”